I want to take a quick second and think about 2005; yes unfortunately that was a decade ago. Gwen Stafani was hollarbecking, George Dubya was enjoying his walks on the White House lawn, and all was well in America. Well, there was a different story going on at Chrysler, to be more specific in the Dodge branch. As the recent “Dodge Brothers” commercials tend to remind us, Dodge has always been about great performing cars, cars that are different from those cookie cutter examples from Ford and the like. So how would the Dodge Brothers explain the Stratus? For those of you unaware of this fine machine, the Stratus was a soulless, uninspiring, underpowered sedan for the masses. Well, the masses had other ideas, and who could blame them. With its manila styling and horrible crash test rating the Stratus plummeted to the bottom of sale charts like it had fallen out of a window. It quickly became the rental fleet favorite, and as soon as that happened, all hope was lost. Things got so bad that Dodge sold the assembly line that developed the Stratus to the Russian company GAZ. The Russians made a decent attempt at reviving the dated car and its design, by making it even uglier and naming it Volga Siber. What happened next was rock bottom for the Chrysler Corporation, forget the economic crisis of 2008, this was worse. The Russian public refused to buy the Dodge/Volga Siber, after selling only 9,000 in three years, GAZ gave up. So what do you do when a Lada is taken before your car? You go back. Back to the history that made you famous, and successful, and that is exactly what Dodge did. The very next year Dodge reincarnated an icon from their long and glorious muscle car era, the Charger was back. So this being Dream Car Friday lets focus on the most mental Charger of them all, the one that scares little kids and makes other cars around it wee their pants. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Now, you might be asking, Why pick a Dodge as your dream car, you can choose any cat you like, like a Ferrari or a Bugatti? That’s a question that easier answered with the price of the Hellcatt. The starting price for this monster is $65k, which might be a lot for a Dodge, but its chump change if it gets you the fastest production sedan IN THE WORLD. Yes, you read that right, that’s why it’s in caps. Dodge has tested, and proved the 207MPH speed, that’s faster than a Maserati, faster than the Porsche Panamera faster than anything out there, let’s take a step back and let that sink in. Good? Ok, let’s move on.
The nuclear power plant under the hood producing the power is something of a wonder on its own; the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine came from the “standard” SRT Charger where it was making close 465HP of course that wasn’t enough, so they modified the engine a bit and strapped on a giant supper charger and made a current day muscle car. Take a big engine and shove it into small car. I don’t know what got into the guys at Dodge, but this is a long way from the Status, and I love it.
The Hellcat gives off an appearance that’s relatively subtle. It is, after all based on a Charger sedan. The kind you can pick up for $25k, at your local Dodge dealer. But it does have some sinister clues that suggest it’s something more than your average commuter car. The hood has three functioning air slits, a giant blacked out grilled, the lowered stance, and the massive wheels and giant red Brembo breaks, the same ones you would find a Ferrari are all present. All of these cues, let the car in the lane over know that this Charger, is a bit angrier than the rest, and it should be left a lone.
The good old boys in Auburn Hill Michigan have surprised everyone with the power and speed of the Hellcat, as equally as impressive are the tech goodies they stuffed in this monster of a car. First the transmission, an 8 speed TorqueFlite unit handles all that power and turns it into motion. There are also paddle shifters that give the driver ultimate control. Following the trend of ultimate control there five drive modes one can choose from. Custom, allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance, sport delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the default mode, track, delivers maximum vehicle performance & capability on smooth, dry surfaces, default, activates automatically when starting the vehicle and finally, eco maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts. This is all organized neatly in the center 8.4 inch UConncet touch screen. That offers a plethora of options and settings including Valet mode that prevents that pimple covered kid from doing doughnuts in lot behind your fancy restaurant. The most impressive part of the UConnect system is that it lets you track your lap times, measure G forces and other important performance figures. The coolest part of it however, is how you access all of that power. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat comes standard with two key fobs – red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential of the SRT Hellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output. Be certain to know the whereabouts of that red key of all times, I know if I ever get a hold of it the specifically designed Pirelli tires on this Charger will be turned to clouds in an instant.
In the beginning the question was asked why a $65k Dodge was my dream car, and I think it has more than adequately been answered. The spacious, comfortable interior has room for four, there is an 8 speed automatic, which will return 25mpg on the highway, and the car will whisk you in along in comfort all day long. However, turn the little red key and a poke of the skinny pedal on the right, that all changes and it turns into Mr. Hyde. The scenery around you is smeared, the supercharger whines and you start to approach 200mph, all for $65k. Because it so obtainable, and because it is so mental yet tame. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is my dream car of the day.
You heard me blabber on about it, now see it happen. The Hellcat destroying the competition.